On the occassion of celeberations of 50 years of formation of the state of Madhya Pradesh, a concert was organized in which Pt Vishwajit Roychoudhary and Begum Parveen Sultana were invited to perform. The evening began with the sarod recital of Pt Roychoudhary. He gave a unique performance in the sense that for accompaniment, both tabla as well as Pakhawaj were used. This is unique for me at least, as Pakhawaj is used as an accompaniment primarily in the Dhrupad style of performance, while Tabla is used for the Hindustani or the Khayal style. The performance was blemishless and emhanced by the uniqueness of the accompaniment. This, the musician explained, was done to highlight the difference between the Dhrupad style of playing and the Hindustani style. The performance began with an Alaap and Jod set in Raga Nat Bihag and ended with a Mishra Bhairavi Dhun.
The piece de resistance was undoubtedly, Begum Sahiba. She commenced with a khayal in Raga Jog set in Jhap taal, then she sang a taraana in Hamsadhwani, a meera bhajan and ended with a Bhairavi Daadra. What strikes even a layman is her range. She flows effortlessely from the lowest octave to the highest. Being an exponent of the Kiraana Gharaana, her taans are as usual elaborate and intricate, yet soothing to the ears. She also is most down to earth and a humble human being. A few persons were standing inside the auditorium as all the seats were occupied. She invited them on to the stage to sit besides her so that they can enjoy the music better ! Then she asked one of the girls sitting besides her whether she was learning music. The girl replied in the negative. On which, Parveenji said "Acchha hai. Agar sab Taansen ban gaye to Kaansen kaun banega!!!" I wish Begum Parveen Sultaana good health so that she can regale us for many more years to come.